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March 17, 2018

Phil Cofer

Mfiondu Kabengele

Braian Angola

Trent Forrest

Nashville, Tennessee

THE MODERATOR: Florida State Seminoles are with us out of the ACC. They have a date with Xavier, tomorrow's second game, 30 minutes after the first.

Student body is represented by Phil Cofer, Trent Forrest, Braian Angola, and Mfiondu Kabengele.

We will go right to questions.

Q. Trent, going back to last year's game, what happened with the year of hindsight? And with you guys having such a different team this year, what can you take from that game last year?
TRENT FORREST: I feel like just where we came up short, I feel like we've learned a lot from that time last year to now. And being able to prepare for this moment, even better than we did last year.

Q. Trent, when you look at them on film, do they look similar to last year's team? In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different? Is it familiar?
TRENT FORREST: Very familiar. They have a lot of the same players and personnel. They do a lot of things they did last year. I feel like it's basically the same team we played last year with a few additions, two freshmen that they have. I feel like it's basically the same team.

Q. With the differences on your roster, is the focus at this point get a little payback or just trying to get a win to get to the next round in Los Angeles?
MFIONDU KABENGELE: I feel like we have to make sure we just focus on our principles first, just defend. We look at this game as the next step to get to the Sweet 16. They're a talented bunch. We knew they got us last year, so it's in the back of our mind. We have to focus on the goal ahead and focus on the game.

BRAIAN ANGOLA: Like Mfiondu said, it's another game. We're trying to make a run to the national title and Xavier is in the way. We'll just try to do what we do and take care of business.

Q. This would just be for any of you guys. Trent, I think you just mentioned that they are very similar to what you saw last season. But what, in particular, does Xavier do well?
TRENT FORREST: I would say their physicality. They're pretty physical, same as last year. They got two pretty good scorers with J.P. and Bluiett, so I feel like those are two key things that they had last year that they have returning this year.

So I would just say their physicality as an overall team and then they have two pretty good scorers.

PHIL COFER: Going off what Trent said, definitely a physical team and they're a great shooting team. So we'll have to do hard contests and keep our composure even if they make shots and stick to our game.

Q. Phil, Trevon Bluiett, what do you remember about his game from last year? What makes him such a challenge to defend?
PHIL COFER: He's a tough shot maker. Like I said, we'll have to hard contest on him and stick to our principles. I think his shot's going to fall sometimes, and sometimes they're not. I think we just need to keep doing us on defense.

Q. Braian, last year against Xavier, you guys shot -- had a hard time from 3-point range. Given the way that you guys have been able to shoot at times this season, and shoot lately, do you maybe have a little more confidence knowing if they give you some looks that they want you to shoot out of, you can be able to do it?
BRAIAN ANGOLA: We really don't know what's going to happen during the course of the game, but we're just trying to follow our principles, do what we do, move the ball, throw the ball inside to our big man and just play inside out and just run the floor, take good shoots. If they fall, good for us. If they're not, just keep doing what we're doing and everything's going to be fine.

Q. This is, again, for any of you guys. If you could just comment on Virginia's loss yesterday and what you guys think about it.
MFIONDU KABENGELE: Virginia's a really talented team. They're really successful throughout the season. We played them. They're really consistent. They stayed together. They never folded. To see them lose like that was surprising because they're a solid bunch.

They lost one of their better players in De'Andre Hunter. It was surprising because they're such a good team. To see them lose like that was just shocking, really.

BRAIAN ANGOLA: For myself, it was just they showed you how March is and no matter -- you made it here for some reason. Nobody here is thinking of losing a game. But any one night, you can get beat by anybody. That's my point of view.

TRENT FORREST: I was definitely shocked. It was a big shocker for me. Kind of going off of what Braian said, it's just that time of the year. You can't look past anybody, no matter who it is. Whether it's a 16, 15, whoever you're playing.

So I feel like just not looking past the competition and going out and playing and do the things you need to do to win the game.

PHIL COFER: I didn't get to see the game, but I seen the after score. But definitely, you got to look at every opponent the same, like you're playing an NBA team or something like that. Besides that, I think they're still a great team no matter what. I think they'll still be pretty good next year.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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